When debris accumulates at the bottom of your pool the best way to get rid of it is by vacuuming. To accomplish this task you have the option of using the manual vacuum and doing the work yourself, or you could also use an automatric pool cleaner. This fun little machine allows you to get the work done without getting your hands dirty.
If you are new to the idea of this time saving product or just need help getting the automatic cleaner you are currently using to work properly, you've come to the right place. Here is some information and quick troubleshooting techniques.Fair warning though, the information below only applies to Zodiac products.
For the new users
By the looks of it, automatic pool cleaners might seem complicated, but in reality they are pretty simple to operate. The cleaner uses the filtration system of your pool to suck the water through a hose with a diaphragm located in the head of the automatic cleaner. With the water pressure the diaphragm opens and closes which then translates into moving the cleaner forwards.
Let's take a look at the individual parts that make up the automatic cleaner. First off we have the hose. The hose is made up of plastic sections that connect to one another, allowing you to customize the length to fit your pool. Once you reach the head of the cleaner the hose connects to a plastic tube. This is where the flow of water will happen. Lower along this tube is a locking ring allowing you to disconnect it from the head itself. At the end of this tube is where the diaphragm, a small rubber piece, is located. This is the only functional part of the entire system. Finally there is the disc that helps the cleaner keep its trajectory when moving around the bottom of the pool. That's all there is to it.
Usually when dealing with automatic pool cleaners there are two types of problems that can occur. The first one is the most evident, the cleaner will start off ok and then all of a sudden it would stop moving. For the second problem the cleaner will either not vacuum a certain part of the pool or will simply spin along the same little circle in the pool.
Is your cleaner being lazy?
There's nothing quite as frustrating as seeing the cleaner start its job and then all of a sudden stop, or even worse never actually start. There are a few reasons that could cause this type of problem but thankfully now you will know how to deal with them. When the cleaner has issues with its functionality the first step would be to make sure that the hose is properly connected and has no holes in it. Also it is important to fill the hose completely with water before plugging it inside the skimmer. The easiest way to do this is to use the return as a jet of water to fill up the hose quickly and then plugging it into the skimmer. Now that you've inspected the hose it's time to move onto the second step, verifying the diaphragm. To do this simply unscrew the lock ring on the head of the cleaner and pull out the tube. Now inspect the diaphragm and make sure there are no holes, tears, or that the opening on the end is not over stretched. If any of these occur, this is why your automatic cleaner isn't working. If you're unsure if your diaphragm is ok, just bring it in to any of our locations and we will be glad to take a look for you.
If the above troubleshooting doesn't work and your diaphragm and hose are both in good condition, then the problem isn't with the automatic cleaner. Your cleaner doesn't work because there is air being pulled into the system. A good indication of this is a big air bubble present where the basket of your pump is situated. Good news though, the air is being pulled in between the skimmer and the pump nowhere else. We recommend checking the fittings, pool hoses & clamps and the O-ring of the pump cover. These are the main areas where air might be infiltrating your system. A tip on finding the culprit, turn the pump off and keep an eye out for where some water might be leaking.
You missed a spot!
Addressing the other main problem with automatic cleaners is a much simpler process. If your cleaner is not reaching certain areas of your pool there can only be two main issues. First when you store the cleaner, if the hose is rolled up tight when you put the cleaner in the water it will only clean a certain region since the hose now acts like a spiral because of the permanent bend in the plastic. Second if the return jet is not at a proper angle the circular motion of the current won't reach the whole pool therefore the cleaner can't be guided properly.
It is important to note that the automatic cleaner will from time to time require supervision and may get stuck or leave some debris at the bottom of the pool. Although they are a great time saver there is no way for the machine to know where it has been and where the debris are, so you might have to help it from time to time.